We're Gonna Have A Party!

What we are having is a Tax Day Tea Party, right here in Menifee. For some of us, this is an opportunity to speak our minds, to gather with like-minded people, and to share our frustrations. For others, this is a time to rant and rave, discriminate, and point fingers. It is a time to insult, belittle and betray our fellow man. In many cases, both Democrats and Republicans are guilty of all of this. Don't think that because you are Red or Blue that you are exempt from being hateful, negative, and downright mean.

These are heated times, to be certain. We are all up-in-arms about the governmental changes that are afoot, in all of the goverment we fall under, be that federal, state, county, and city. But if you could only change your view slightly, you could see that these are very exciting times as well! Change is not comfortable; this is certain. But change is good for any entity, occasionally. We are seeing changes in our local government that will produce a better city, hopefully. I am not so naive to think that all change is good. I just know that the only thing that never changes is the fact that change is always on the horizon.

I ask that you refrain from the name calling, the back biting and the personal attacks, and that you try to find something in common with the guy across the aisle.

The beauty of our government is the opportunity to be heard. The Tea Party participants want to speak and be heard. If you don't agree with them, form a group and be heard too!! But, we should all be careful what we are saying, because if we want to be heard, we should make it count!




Salute to Heroes and Children's Fair

There's an event coming up Saturday, April 17th, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Menifee. More information here...

http://www.gslcmsmenifee.org/AFD.cfm

menifee salute to heroes




Menifee Tea Party Tax Day Protest


Click on image to see the full size.




City of Menifee Easter Egg Hunt

The City of Menifee has an Easter Egg Hunt coming up...

menifee easter egg hunt




Scott Mann's Statement on Overbilling

Below is a statement of Councilman Scott Mann regarding the recent issue on the City of Menifee having been overbilled for certain services....

STATEMENT – Scott A. Mann, Councilman and Chair, Finance Committee, City of Menifee, Menifee – March 18, 2010

The Menifee City Council agreed that there would be no comment from its members during the course of the audit and that statements would come from the Mayor or City Manager. As a result, I had the Mayor review this prior to its release and he had no objection. The purpose of my statement is to confirm for the citizens of Menifee that the Council is proceeding in an appropriate manner based upon its recent 5-0 vote to go forward with another audit. The audit, and some of the issues it addresses, has been the subject of on-going press coverage. The public needs to know that this is a real audit for real reasons and not a political vendetta as some would charge.

First, an explanation of why this job fell to me. My background includes service as an investigator for the Judge Advocate General, presiding over Summary Court-Martials (which are one officer trials) and conducting administrative review hearings for non-judicial proceedings. I hold a certification in public finance from USC and I also have a Master of Business Administration degree and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. Based upon these experiences, my colleagues felt I was in the best position to lead this performance review based upon an assumption of decreasing revenues from the State.

Second, an explanation of what led to the vote on the professional services agreement: the Finance Committee began reviewing invoices and the warrant register in December 2009, at its own request. Up until that time, we had relied on staff to follow appropriate internal controls in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Unfortunately, what began as a performance audit of contracts for a new city broadened rapidly when the Finance Committee discovered that the City had paid Winzler & Kelly almost $2 million dollars without any apparent review or segregated oversight of those expenses. As a fiduciary for the city taxpayer, as evidence surfaces that a prudent person would view as possible serious ethical concerns or even potential legal violations; it becomes incumbent upon us to allow facts to lead us to our conclusions, not personalities nor politics.

We discovered irregularities in the PV Maintenance billing as reported in the press. The total amount of the PV Maintenance billing will exceed $1 million dollars. However, when combined, the Winzler & Kelly and the PV Maintenance expenditures exceed $3 million dollars. This dollar figure represents nearly 15% of the City of Menifee’s entire budget. We have identified potential irregularities in the payments of other contracts but, it would not be fair to list those firms in this statement while the examination of those contracts is on-going (let me confirm that this does not include the City Attorney’s contract). Without placing any blame, the prudent man rule mandates that we look at these expenditures more thoroughly in light of an obvious lack of internal financial controls.

Based on our Council’s commitment to work as a team, our unanimous vote to proceed and the very seriousness of the problem, our Council decided to move expeditiously and let professional, qualified, independent sets of eyes look at our books. Unfortunately, a member of the Council, Ms. Kuenzi, has decided to not honor her vote as evidenced by her three personal attempts this week to interfere with this audit. While I fail to understand how this will protect taxpayers by doing so without having complete knowledge of what has occurred, I felt it necessary to issue a statement today to clear the record and reiterate that this process was begun on unanimous vote of the Council. Looking at the evidence available to us, it is clear we have serious unanswered questions related to the day-to-day operations of the city and we will continue to search out the truth and communicate that to taxpayers.

While I am not authorized to speak for my colleagues, I am quite certain that none of us approved the broad scope of this secondary external independent audit for “political” reasons. We approved it because the citizens of Menifee expect us to do our jobs and do them well. They also expect us to conduct ourselves properly and uphold the highest ethical standards in the performance of those duties.

- Scott A. Mann, Councilman and Chair, Finance Committee, City of Menifee, March 18,
2010




Growing City ~ Growing Pains

It was bound to happen. A questionable financial decision sheds a dark cloud over the ethics of our officials. Campaign contributions are now being reviewed. Phrases like "Old Boys Club" and "questionable ethics" are being tossed around. Implications abound, and we residents are beginning to wonder.

As a resident, that is your job!

Hold your officials to the highest standards, and ask questions. But allow answers to be given, before judgement is made. Asking questions is more than just your right, it is your obligation, and duty to the city in which you live. But do not start passing your own judgement, without proof. And questionable acts are not proof, just questionable.

As a writer, it is my job to intrigue my readers and ask you to think. Today, I am asking you to think about your city, and make the officials accountable. Voice your opinions! Be heard!

I say, peel back the layers, and see what lies beneath. The most important thing that our local government can be is transparent, so we can be confident that they are making decisions that best benefit us, the residents.

I know an audit is at hand, and we will all know the truth shortly. Be grateful that we live in a society in which we can ask, and not only be heard, but answered!




Menifee Mom joins a Team in Training...


Menifee resident, Leslie Kussman, is raising funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as she joins Orange County/Inland Empire Team in Training for the San Diego Rock 'N' Roll Marathon.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is a national voluntary health agency dedicated to curing leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma while improving the quality of life for patients and their families. It is estimated over 138,000 Americans will be diagnosed with a blood cancer this year. Leukemia causes more deaths than any other cancer in children under 20 and alarmingly affects 10 times as many adults.

Leslie understands that training for her first marathon will be challenging, however, it will be nothing compared to the challenge that those afflicted with leukemia or any other type of cancer face on a daily basis. If you would like to join Leslie in this fight, please use the link below to donate online quickly and securely plus learn more about her progress. You will receive a confirmation of your donation by email and you will be notified as soon as you make your donation.

http://pages.teamintraining.org/ocie/rnr10/lkussman
On behalf of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, thank you very much for your support.




MENIFEE JUNIOR ALL AMERICAN FOOTBALL SIGN-UPS


Menifee Junior All American Football & Cheer Registration
Saturday, March 13 10:00am-2:00pm
Wheatfield Park in Menifee, corner of La Piedra & Menifee Rd

Tackle football ages 7-14, registration fee $250
Flag football ages 5-6, registration fee $60
Cheerleading ages 5-14, registration fee $50 plus the cost of uniform

We also have online registration, www.menifeewildcatsjaaf.com
Any questions, please call the hotline, 951-639-0238




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